The NASCAR doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway continued on Saturday, June 12, with an Xfinity Series race. Kyle Busch got behind the wheel of the No. 54 Twix Toyota Supra with the goal of securing his 10th win at the 1.5-mile oval — No. 99 overall in the Xfinity Series. He achieved this by racing his way to Victory Lane in overtime after a string of wrecks and caution flags.
The race featured strong performances by some of NASCAR’s biggest stars. Defending Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric won Stage 1, his sixth of the year. Busch then put on a show during Stage 2, capturing a win of his own and setting himself up for a final run to the checkered flag. The two men continued battling for the lead throughout the final stage, also dealing with late charges from Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, and Daniel Hemric.
Allgaier actually took the lead from Busch twice during the final stage during a wild battle, showcasing impressive speed in the No. 7 Dollar Shave Club Chevrolet Camaro. Though a run of late cautions led to multiple restarts, which is when Busch took back control with better acceleration off the line. Following the 10th and final caution, Busch jumped to the front of the pack and captured his second win of the season.
Busch Continues to Plan for ‘Retirement’
The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra entered Saturday’s race with 98 Xfinity Series career, two shy of a major career milestone. Busch previously told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio back in 2017 that he would “retire” from the Xfinity Series once he hit 100 career wins, and he confirmed that this is still the plan.
Busch appeared on Fox Sports’ pre-race show to discuss his future with Shannon Spake, Larry McReynolds, and Jamie McMurray. He responded to questions about his retirement by saying that he will step away from the Xfinity Series after notching win No. 100. However, he clarified that he would make occasional starts in the No. 54 if team owner Joe Gibbs specifically asked him to do so.
With three more Xfinity Series starts remaining in the 2021 season, Busch could achieve his goal of reaching 100 career wins. If so, he will step away from the No. 54 JGR Toyota and will focus on his Cup Series career and his Truck Series team.
Gragson Bounced Back in a Major Way
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro entered Saturday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway on a serious cold streak. He had a 15th-place finish at Dover and then three straight DNF’s. He experienced severe engine issues at Circuit of the Americas and then crashed at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
These recent struggles negatively impacted Gragson in the starting lineup formula, dropping him to 30th at Texas Motor Speedway. However, he did not remain near the back of the pack for very long. Gragson immediately began making moves and worked his way into the top 10.
The Las Vegas native navigated around traffic during Stage 1, finishing 10th and scoring some crucial points. He then continued to impress during Stage 2, finishing fifth and setting himself up for a final fight for a top-three performance.
Gragson raced in the top four throughout the final stage of the race, keeping pace with Cindric, Busch, and Allgaier during multiple restarts. He dropped back slightly during the final restart, falling to ninth. However, Gragson made some late moves and finished his day seventh overall.
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